I’ve known Mark and Picha for many years. The lovely couple vows to bring REAL Thai food into the US, not those so-called “Thai” food loaded with sugar and soy sauce. Their restaurant, Thai Curry Simple, had been a longtime lunch favourite in Seattle’s International District among foodies and office workers alike. Also popular was their Thai street food/dessert shop in the University District, serving authentic Thai shaved ice and other goodies for the sweet tooth.
So when Picha invited me to join her on her home visit to Thailand at the beginning of 2023, I did not hesitate to commit. Thailand had not been on my travel radar at the time, but with a chef and a foodie, I know I’m in good hands.
Turned out I was right. What a journey it’s been!
To begin, I booked the ticket with the Emirates Airlines through Dubai. Because I was concerned with the connection time (< 2 hours) for the shorter itinerary, I deliberately picked one with a longer (8 hour) layover. It turned out to be less stressful, and with a room at the five-star Dubai International Hotel – conveniently located at the same terminal as my arriving and departing flights – I was able to shower and catch some sleep between flights.
My flight from Dubai to Bangkok was on the double-deck Airbus 380. The airplane was spacious, comfortable despite a bit chilly in the cabin. I pre-ordered the Low-Lactose Meal, which was disappointing when compared to the regular meal they serve – drier entrées and no lemon cake – I fixed that on my return trip by just going with their regular meals 🙂
The Suvarnabhumi Airport is a large international airport in Bangkok with gates connected mostly by long moving walkaways. The International Arrival Hall, althought crowded, moves at reasonable speed with staffs helping to redirect passengers to different counters. It took me about 20 minutes to get my passport stamped. Picha and her friend Choke picked me up and drove to Choke’s residence on Bang Noi Canal that is connected to Maeklong River, south of Bangkok.
Because it was late in the evening, we just stopped by a roadside 24 hour diner so I can get some authentic Thai.
My first meal in Thailand, I went with Pad See Ew, it was simple, cooked perfectly with the breath of a wok, pure delicious!
For desserts we ordered bean curd in coconut milk (cold) and Sesame rice balls in (hot) ginger syrup.
Both were variations of Chinese desserts but the Thais made it so much better. It helps that this is a region known for their coconuts. Choke’s family owns/lives on a land lined with fruit trees such as lychees, coconuts and rose apples.
Oh did I mention our bill was merely $6? Cheap and Good that is 🙂
The restaurant we visited Took Lae Dee – translates to Cheap and Good – inside the Foodland Supemarket has a dish called American fried rice that’s made famous by the Chinese raper Jackson Wang who ate the concocted dish between rehearsals. Of course the so-called American fried rice isn’t from America. It’s basically Spanish (tomato) rice topped with ingredients that are considered American – fried egg, sausages, hams and fried chicken drumstick – by the Thai people. I didn’t get a chance to try this dish. It sounded interesting. Maybe next trip 🙂
Coming up next in Thailand 2023 – Food Journey to the Gulf of Thailand